Description - Historic Washington State Park is a unique, historic Arkansas community conserved and interpreted by Arkansas State Parks in conjunction with the Pioneer Washington Restoration Foundation. From its establishment in 1824, Washington was an important stop on the rugged Southwest Trail for pioneers traveling to Texas. James Bowie, Sam Houston and Davy Crockett traveled through Washington and James Black, a local blacksmith, is credited with creating the legendary Bowie Knife here. Later, the town became a major service center for area planters, merchants and professionals and was the Confederate Capital of Arkansas from 1863-1865.
Established in 1973, the state park interprets Washington from 1824-1875.
- The 19th century restoration town includes a print museum, steam-powered cotton gin and dining at the Williams Tavern Restaurant. The 1874 Courthouse serves as the visitor center. The park also houses the Southwest Arkansas Regional Archives, a resource center for historical and genealogical research.
Recreation - The main activity at Historic Washington State Park is touring the buildings and community. Tours include visits to the Confederate Capitol, Tavern Inn, Blacksmith Shop, Weapons Museum and several residences.
Climate - Arkansas has a temperate climate with the coldest temperatures near freezing during December, January and February. Daytime highs for these months usually reach 55 degrees F. Spring and fall temperatures are very mild with lows dipping to 44 degrees F and highs reaching 70 degrees F. July and August are the hottest months of the year with average temperatures reaching 90 degrees F. June and September average temperatures usually reach into the mid-eighties. Spring and winter months are the wettest of the year.
Historic Washington State Park is located in the Gulf Coastal Plain Region of southwestern Arkansas. To reach the park, take Exit #30 off I-30 at Hope and travel nine miles northwest on U.S. Highway 278 to Washington.